Thursday, 19 November 2009

The Darwinian nature of global politics

LINK to Guardian article, Obama's Beijing balancing act points to the new challenge for the west, by Timothy Garton Ash
How this relationship plays out over the next 20 years will, of course, depend mainly on the realities of economic, military and political power.
Yet beyond the hard power relations, there is an almost philosophical question about how we in the west engage with China
"I'm going to make the strongest possible reasoned case for the universal values of the Enlightenment being the best for you as well as for us, but I'm also all ears for your response."
In these quotes, TGA gives clear expression to the dilemma at the heart of the matter, between man's rational nature and his blind, power-obsessed, Darwinian nature; but he obviously fails to understand its true significance himself, leading him to accept as inevitable that the "relationship [between China and America] will . . depend mainly on the realities of economic, military and political power", i.e. be determined not by man's rational nature, but by his blind Darwinian nature and its obsession with POWER.

Why doesn't TGA recognise this?

It is, I suggest, because he too, like everyone else, is dominated by his own Darwinian nature (misplaced and perverted in the artificial environment of human civilization, where it has been reduced to the pursuit and exercise of POWER in its multifarious forms) far more than by his rational nature, which the need to preserve his own self-image as a "man of reason", prevents him (and the rest of us) from recognising.

"Never mind the philosophical crap - China is almost a textbook Fascist state now . . "
While China is an authoritarian fascist state, America and Britain are "liberal fascist" states (see Jonah Goldberg). So I guess we have a lot more in common than generally supposed.

As population pressure and competition for deteriorating and diminishing natural resources increases, the struggle for individual survival and advantage will intensify and the authoritarian fascist state, I suspect, will become more and more attractive to those in wealth, power and privilege.

We in the west have a brief window of opportunity - still wide open, but not for long - in which to recognise the Darwinian nature of our civilisation and take conscious, grassroots-democratic control of its radical transformation. Otherwise, it will be a long (possibly terminal) night of fascism, i.e. statism, at the heart of which lies our unrecognized, and thus misplaced and perverted, Darwinian nature .

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